POL 128 Study Guide - Final Guide: Diegesis, Filmmovement.Com, Shirin Neshat


Department
Politics and Public Administration
Course Code
POL 128
Professor
Hudson Moura
Study Guide
Final

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POL 128 Final Exam
Long exam consisting of 70 multiple-choice questions (0.5 mark per question) through scantron-
-that will require familiarity with the whole course material covered in all slides, class screenings
(especially Central Station, A Bolandeira and Incendies), and required readings.
It will also include historical facts that are central to the theory of political cinema; questions
about the consequence of a critical concept, aesthetic and/or technological development in film
history and politics; a significant class discussion point.
Technical film aspects such as camera work and mise-en-scene will NOT be part of the
final exam.
Week 1
Wag the Dog
- Spin-doctor and a Hollywood producer join efforts to fabricate a war in order to cover-up
a presidential sex scandal
- Try to take the public attention away from the scandal
- Construct a fake war, constructs a theme song, and fake footage of an orphan in Albania
- To wag the dog means to divert attention from what would be of greater importance
“Setting the scene: A theory of film and politics” Christensen and Haas
- Every film has political significance and meaning
- Movies reflect political choices
Week 2
Mise en Scene (Not on exam)
- Focuses on what can be seen in the picture
- Colour, Production Design, Lighting, Actors performance, Diegetic sound (sounds in the
scene)
Strangers Film
- A short story of two strangers meeting on the subway
- Makes you think about identity, religion, fear and freedom
- Entire story told through silence, eye contact, symbols
- Fear between Arab and Jew
The Birth of A Nation (Griffith)
- Family friendship affected by the Civil War
- Consequences of War in their lives are shown
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- Revolutionized the language of cinema (parallel editing) for suspense and powerful
commentary
- Films were more than entertainment for the masses
- Reshaped the image of the South and influenced the way Americans thought about
politics
Charlie Chaplin
- Turns against modern society, the machine age
- We see him struggling in the production line system
- Charlie is trapped in the machines
The Great Dictator
- Plays as a Jewish barber and parody of Adolf Hitler
Week 3: Classic Cinema II: Frank Capra and Orson Welles
“1930s: Political movies and Great Depression” Christensen and Haas (2005: 73-108)
- Mr. Smith goes to Washington = democracy in action!
- Power of the press as well as public opinion
- Faith in a public that is so easily manipulated
Mr. Smith goes to Washington (USA, 1939)
- Government in Washington is corrupt, allows rich men to pass bills to make money
- Politicians are characterized negatively
Casablanca
- Captivating wartime adventure of romance and intrigue
- Uses clichés to make audience laugh
Week 4: Propaganda Battle: Eisenstein and Riefenstahl
I met the Walrus
- Animated short film using the original interview recording as the soundtrack
- Use images that complement with verbal content
- Stream of audio-visual information
- Represents the culmination of years of thinking, dreaming, and experiencing life
Film propaganda
- Visual imagery was a powerful, central force in political imagination
- Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia utilized this medium to spread the indoctrination of
their belief system
Ideologies
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- Nazi Germany = innate racial superiority
- Soviet Union = scientific analysis economic class conflict in human history
- Propaganda ≠ information and publicity
- Propaganda is a transmission of ideas and/or values
Define Propaganda
- Dreincourts: Everything is propaganda
- Doobs: Individuals are controlled through suggestions
- Mackenzie: Propaganda is an attempt to influence others to adopt identical attitudes
- Qualter: propaganda is the deliberate attempt by some individual or group to alter the
attitudes through the use of instruments of communication
Weapons of Use
1. Words
2. Symbols
3. Broadsheet
4. Emotions
5. Portraying attitudes that do not seen controversial
6. Communication channels
Benefits of Cinema
- Cinema tends to be less demanding and easier to comprehend than the written or spoken
word
- Only medium that appeals to an audience that is at the same time a mass
- Attracts audiences from all social classes
Triumph of the Wil (German)
- Hypnotic and terrifying cinematic spectacle that depicts all the pomp of the Nazi regime
- Documentary technique and uses propaganda
- Powerful expression of fascist ideology and aesthetics
Battleship Potemkin (Russian)
- Based on historical events
- Riot which started as a protest
- People stampeded over others who have fallen, dead or alive
Propaganda and Mass Persuasion: A Historical Encyclopedia
- Misunderstood word
- Means different things at different periods of time
- Especially during times of war and crisis
- Has a negative connotation, used with words like manipulation, or brainwashing
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